User Rating Comment Status
Christopher Fritel
United States
Austin
Texas
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10
Sep 2014
African Diamond Mines: 3-4
Taiwan Cube Factories: 3
Alspach
2014-10-06
Owned
Michael Logan
United States
Havertown
Pennsylvania
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My words literally betray me.
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9
May 2014
Need to play
2014-01-17
Owned
David Dolzan
Slovenia
Komenda
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8.5
Feb 2012
Two of the best new maps. Taiwan is pretty tough, and Diamond mines is quite innovative. Like it!
2012-02-11
Owned
C Sandifer
United States
Lutherville
Maryland
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8
Mar 2012
Taiwan Cube Factories:

Good grief. With the large number of AoS maps cranked out by the designer over the years, you'd think his creative wellspring would run dry. But Taiwan Cube Factories is just as innovative as the others, if not moreso.

This map is particularly unfriendly given the extreme amount of energy and planning it can take to put a particular cube on the board, especially since it's ridiculously easy (as usual) to steal cubes out from under your opponents. The degree of backstabbing is such that Taiwan may not be workable with four players unless pairs of competitors make informal alliances and agree not to take each other's cubes.

First Move is critical, especially when there aren't enough cubes remaining for each player to make two deliveries. One approach is to throw down 3-4 cubes during the production phase and hope that there are still cubes on the board when it's your turn to move. If everyone follows this strategy, that's fine; but if only the first player drops cubes, tough luck.

African Diamond Mines:

(not yet played)
2012-03-22
Owned
Oliver Biesler
Germany
Frankfurt/ Main
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8
Oct 2011
Kaufdatum: 20.10.2011 (15 €)
2011-10-29
Owned
Patrick Saxton
United States
Santa Clara
California
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8
Nov 2012
Interesting map. At first it appears that production is too easy and there will be a never ending supply of cubes on the board, but those cubes are desperately needed to defray the high building costs. The high building costs also mean that it is important not to overbid in the auction. The goods production mechanism is also interesting, because it gives players motivation to deliver goods of a specific color--there are times when a 4-link delivery may preferred to a 5-link delivery because a certain goods cube color is needed to produce a valuable resource cube.

In our one play, all 3 players clustered at the top of the board. I ultimately was able to win because I slipped down the right hand side of the board and was shielded by the mountains. In a 3-player game it can be advantageous to be alone on one side of the mountain range. I'm not sure if this will always be the deciding factor on this board.
2012-11-20
Owned
悅 王
Taiwan
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8
Sep 2013
Good design! But as a Taiwanese it's weird to see the names like Fenglin and Shuilien, both are small villages in Taiwan. It is better to rename Chunan, Suao as Miaoli, Ilan, respectively.
2013-09-02
Owned
Want To Play
Chris Tan
Taiwan
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8
Jun 2014
Steam 蒸氣*地圖擴充
2014-07-13
Owned
koen verstraete
Belgium
ruddervoorde
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8
Sep 2014
8 : score for Taiwan Cube factories : not a bad idea the goods growth in this game, but avery expensive building cost makes the game very hard.
2014-09-20
Michiel Hillenius
Netherlands
Hoogland (Amersfoort)
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7.75
Jul 2012
Taiwan Cube factories: good advanced map. Played once with quite new players, Steam rules I want to play this again with players of equal strength. In the last turns the cubes dry up and you need to produce new ones. However, big chances that they are going to be robbed by other players. Interesting variation this is. Rating 8
African Diamonds: 1 play, 3 players. An interesting variation with quite a few rule changes. With three it was not a very tough map, the map is probably best with more. Rating 7.5 prelimenary.
2012-07-02
Owned
Monica Rehaug
Norway
Ler
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Hi! I'm Macaos. A cute, kind, sporty and fun Bearded Collie. I enjoy lying under the table when Macao is on the table.
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7.5
Aug 2013
2011 Steam/AoS Expansion Pack

$85
2011-10-23
Owned
Michel Condoroussis
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
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7.5
Jun 2014
Based on one play (Diamond Mines): Another very interesting expansion map for Steam. In this one you ship diamonds to fixed cities and use your depth to access them, but you want to make short connects as the more links you pass over the less income you get. The board is small, we played at 3 and it was tight, at 6 it wold be chaotic.
2014-06-18
Owned
Scott Russell
United States
Clarkston
Michigan
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7
Mar 2014
A map that rewards efficiency!
2011-12-24
Owned
Bill Herbst
United States
Sayville
New York
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7
Jan 2015
African Diamond Mines -- rewards efficient routes contrary to the usual order of business in AOS. MY first play was marred by a misinterpretation of the large white diamond in the center of the board which we used to accept cubes of any color. Obviously, this made the game strategically flat.
2015-01-18
Owned
Eric Kouris
France
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designer
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6
Feb 2012
Taiwan map is very difficult.
2012-04-01
Owned
Dither Dither
Australia
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6
Jan 2012
Rated a cruel 6 as I happily bought  it whilst knowing full well I will probably never play it! (8/1/12)
2012-01-08
Owned
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
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designer
Entropy Seminar:
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The results of a five yeer studee ntu the sekund lw uf thurmodynamiks aand itz inevibl fxt hon shewb rt nslpn raq liot.
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6
Mar 2012
TAIWAN CUBE FACTORIES: The production action is changed on this map, where players keep the goods they deliver, and then convert those into cubes of other colors, which they then place directly on a city on the board. So it's possible to be very lucrative on this map, but to compensate for this fact, the track-building costs are doubled. This is all fine and good, but the Engineer action has been adapted so that whoever picks it pays the standard building costs instead of the doubled ones. There are a lot of mountains on the map, so the difference between getting Engineer or n1ot can be a share or three, so issuing shares based on getting Engineer and then not getting it can destroy you, while issuing shares based on NOT getting Engineer and then getting it means you've unneccessarily increased your expenses for the rest of the game. It seems like an unfair rule, and I'm not that fond of it.

1 play: 4 players

Rating: 6
2012-03-12
Owned
John Brier
United States
Aventura
Florida
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6
Aug 2013
Played the Taiwan map with 4p.

The double cost of building track really skews the decision space in interesting ways. While the cube exchange mechanic is fascinating in theory, it too quickly creates too much scarcity of cubes on the board; which combined with the exhorbitant track costs and geography of the board reduces the amount of "stuff" there is to do later in the game, resulting in a less fun experience. Or maybe there was just too much analysis paralysis in our game (which to be fair is common with AoS/Steam).
2013-08-19
Michael Longdin
England
Crawley
West Sussex
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N/A
See Age of Steam
2012-11-06
Owned
Malachi Brown
United States
Hermitage
TN
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It's turtles all the way down.
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“Questions are a burden to others; answers a prison for oneself.”
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N/A
Taiwan Cube Factories

Wow, this is an expensive map! Brutal. I barely pulled out of a death spiral by the end of the map... I was a little disappointed because I felt like I had the best track network/layout, but another player with almost no track making 3 deliveries pulled the win handily.

I think we undervalued the production action for the first part of the game.

1 play, 4 players
2012-03-12
Owned
Christian Frank
Germany
Freiburg
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N/A
(Essen 2011 buy)
2011-10-26
Owned
Want To Play
Nick Case
England
Epsom
Surrey
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designer
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N/A
Yet to play
2011-11-04
Owned
Pete
Australia
Hobart
Tasmania
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My old friend "Burger", RIP 2005
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N/A
2011 acquisition.
2011-11-09
Owned
Brian Lenz
United States
Kentwood
Michigan
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N/A
Expansion
2013-09-08
Owned
Game Junkie
Spain
Madrid
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N/A
[African Diamond Mines] 3-6p?
[Taiwan Cube Factories] 3-6p?
2012-11-09
Owned
Paul Kessels
Netherlands
Bussum
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N/A
Haven't played it yet.
2014-01-30
Owned
Jacek Malinowski
Poland
Warszawa
Poland (Polska)
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N/A
Passed on buying it after reading the rules.
African Diamond Mines seem too far from the spirit of the original and Taiwan Cube Factories are too much of a brain-burner.
2014-01-04
Huang Chien Yuan
Taiwan
Tainan City
Anping Dist.
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N/A
3,4,5
2015-01-07
Owned

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